Smart place search to satisfy your customers

The ability to get needful data opportunely data is a key moment to success in many startings. Especially this can be significant when you provide real-time services to your customers. You wish to predict their needs and try to provide the data they need at this exact moment and situation. And the place search is exactly the case!

Geoapify Places API is a very powerful and flexible tool that allows seek out points of interest and amenities. Moreover, by adding various conditions to the search parameters it gives you the potential to find places and locations that correspond to your customer needs. Learn more about supported categories and conditions on the documentation page.

Here we would like to provide a few examples of how Place API requests can be extended by conditions to search for places effectively. You can try all the queries without registration on the Places API Playground.

Search parking places in the big city

Finding a parking place in the city is always a problem. That why the appropriate parking search is a very popular operation. People search for the closest parking, parking with fees, or the free one, parking with public access or at least access for customers.

Geoapify Places API has a special category for parking search. The category contains subcategories for cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. You can also choose between different parking building types – multistorey, underground, rooftop, or surface.

There are a number of conditions that do make sense in a combination of the parking category: „access“ or „access_limited“, „fee“ or „no_fee“ and subcategories.

Here is an example of how parking search request may look like:

Places API parameterValue
filterview box – the visible area of the map
biascustomer position
categories„parking.cars“
conditions„access“, „no_fee“
URL example: https://api.geoapify.com/v2/places?categories=parking.cars&conditions=access,no_fee&filter=rect:10.87029,48.38638,10.91658,48.35823&apiKey=YOUR_API_KEY

The search result may look like that:

Search parking in a big city
Search parking place in Munich city

Catering with internet access option

Looking for a place to eat with internet access is another example of a query that is in high demand. Often it‘s people who looking for a place to have a coffee and check email, sometimes it‘s tourists that have limited internet connection on mobile phones.

We have a „Catering“ category with „Restaurant“, „Cafe“, „Fast food“ and other subcategories. That allows you to specify the type of the foodservice. And we have a special condition for internet access. So the places search request will look like:

Places API parameterValue
filterview box – the visible area of the map
biascustomer position
categories„catering.fast_food“
conditions„internet_access”
URL example: https://api.geoapify.com/v2/places?categories=catering.fast_food&conditions=internet_access&filter=rect:10.87029,48.38638,10.91658,48.35823&apiKey=YOUR_API_KEY

Searching for shopping places

This is probably the biggest category we have in Geoapify Places API. About 60 subcategories allow choosing the exact type of shop. Moreover, the name filter lets to find all the shops of the name brand. For example, you can find all the „Ikea“ shops nearby.

In addition, conditions enable you to get more concrete and detailed results. For instance, choose shops that ensure barrierless access:

Places API parameterValue
filterview box – the visible area of the map
biascustomer position
categories„commercial.clothing“
conditions„wheelchair”
URL example: https://api.geoapify.com/v2/places?categories=commercial.clothing&conditions=wheelchair&filter=rect:10.87025,48.38638,10.916586,48.35823&apiKey=YOUR_API_KEY

All the results contain information about categories and conditions the place belongs to:

Shopping nearby
Getting shopping places nearby

Tourism and points of interest

Providing information about places is the top priority task for all companies working in the tourism branch. Geoapify offers you several places categories that could be interesting for tourists:

  • “tourism” – Information about attraction and sights, as well as useful data like tourist information office location.
  • “entertaiment” – Places where one can spend free time with amusement. For example, theme parks, museums, theatres.
  • “leisure” – Places where one can relax and unwind
  • “natural” – Places where one can enjoy nature, explore natural objects
  • “heritage” – cultural and natural heritage objects, including the UNESCO list

With Geoapify Places API you can get well-known places, as well as small ones. The „named“ condition allows to get only names places and skip the unnamed ones:

All places vs named places
All places vs named places: set “named” condition to get well known places

More than 400 categories and conditions

Geoapify Places API contains around 400 categories and conditions. All the categories and conditions are hierarchical that allows performing a wide search as well as detailed searches. For example, the query „catering“ to get all the places where one can eat and drink or get separately cafes, bars, or fast-food restaurants. Check the list of supported categories and conditions on our documentation list.

Didn’t find a category or condition that solves your business task? Contact us! We will be happy to extend our platform.

Try Geoapify Places API now

Get an API key and start using Places API now or try it without registration on our Playground page. And do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, ideas, and proposals.

Address field with autocomplete – step by step tutorial with JSFiddle example

Adding an address field ideally with autocomplete is a very common task for web-developer. And even if there are libraries providing components and “ready-to-use” solutions they often are difficult to style, missing some functionality required and need to be maintained. Moreover, when you start to use a component “from-a-box” you bind yourself with the exact API provider.

In this tutorial, we propose you to create an address field with autocomplete with Vanilla Javascript only. We use the Geoapify Geocoding service to convert addresses into locations and JSFiddle for a playground.

Before you start

Register and get an API key for free on MyProjects Geoapify. We have a Freemium pricing model, so you can start for Free and extend when you need it.

We provide an API key for JSFiddle example and you can reuse it for other JSFiddle examples. However, you require your own API key to make API calls from your own application.

Step 1. Create an input field in a provided HTML-container

  • We start just with a DIV-element, which is positioned relatively;
  • Let’s create an input field inside the container and make it spread full width:

Step 2. Send a geocoding request on user input and show a dropdown list with results

  • Now let’s add a user input event and send a geocoding request when the event is fired;
  • As the geocoding result comes asynchronously we need to cancel the previous request if the user input changes;
  • We create a DIV-element with geocoding results and show it as a dropdown to the input element;
  • We hide the dropdown list on new user input:

Step 3. Select an option and notify when an option was selected

  • Now let’s make options clickable and notify about selected option;
  • We add a callback parameter to the addressAutocomplete() to get notifications:

Geoapify Geocoding API returns results in GeoJSON format. Learn more about GeoJSON feature properties on the Geocoding documentation page.

Step 4. Add clear button

The Geocoding Autocomplete is functional now, but not user-friendly enough. Let’s improve this!

  • Add a clear button to the input field;
  • Hide the button when input is empty;
  • Send notification when the text was cleared:

Step 5. Add keyboard navigation support

It would be great to have the possibility to navigate the address field with a keyboard.

  • Let’s add a listener for arrow UP, arrow DOWN and ENTER key;
  • We are going to navigate and send notifications when a user navigates the dropdown list;
  • The focused item in the dropdown list is highlighted with a background color. We store the index of the focused element in the focusedItemIndex;
  • We close the dropdown list when the user presses ENTER:

Step 6. Make the dropdown list responsive

At the moment the dropdown is opened when a user types in the input field and closed only when an option was selected. Let’s close the dropdown list when a user clicked outside the input control and show the dropdown list again when the control is clicked again:

Step 7. Search countries, cities, streets

Geoapify Geocoding API allows specifying a type for locations. Let’s add a parameter for the addressAutocomplete() that limits the search to the specific location type:

Geoapify Geocoding API parameters

With Goeapify Geocoding you can make your search more concrete:

  • Search by exact address type. For example, search only countries, cities or streets.
  • Limit the search to a list of counties.
  • Search around a given location.
  • Change the language of results.

Learn more about Geoapify Geocoding API parameters and options.

Create a map from Excel data with Mapifator

Spreadsheets or Excel files is one of the most popular ways to represent and exchange data. The reason why it prevalent is that Spreadsheets are simple! Easy to create, easy to extend… Spreadsheets are supported by any website generators, editors, and frameworks. But is it the best way to represent data? Especially data that contains location component? For example, selling points, schools, cities? We think that it’s not! Location data belongs to maps!

On the other hand, usually, maps are not simple. Often you need to have the expertise to create a map. Moreover, a map should be maintained and updated. And this usually is not for free.

But we have good news for you! You can create a map from excel data with the Mapifator map builder easy and without GIS and coding experience. We have a Freemium model, so a map with up to 10 places you can create, share or integrate into your website absolutely for Free.

Create a map from an excel file

Steps to create a map from an excel file

  1. Go to Mapifator and press “Get started”
  2. Register a new user or sign in with Gmail / Facebook account
  3. Press “Add map” and specify the map name
  4. The map is created and the Map Editor is opened now
  5. Press “Import places from an Excel file” button
  6. Follow instructions of the Importer Wizard
  7. Design markers, tags, and layouts of the map

Example of an interactive map showing secondary schools in the Augsburg region, Germany

We have a great example for you, how boring and hardly understandable information for parents about secondary schools and information events there. This data suppose to help and make a transition process from primary to secondary school smooth. For the spreadsheet file, you need to know which secondary schools are located nearby, which one fits your requirements the best, and when the information evening happens.

An excel file with secondary schools
An excel file available on the official city web portal

Even if the information is well structured, you have to use external maps, for example, Google Maps, to understand the picture. An interactive map solves the problem and visualized the spreadsheet data in a more comprehensible way:

How is the map better than spreadsheet representation?

A location instead of an address

You can see on the map the location of the place, estimate how far it away and how good it’s connected to other places.

As children in secondary school travel alone toward the school and home, it’s important to choose a destination easily accessible from home.

Tags and tag filters

Tags help to visualize characteristics and features of the place in a minimal, obvious and beautiful way. So you can find the places with required properties quick and easy. Furthermore, tag filters allow visualizing the places you are currently interested in and hide others.

Tags show more information
Use tags to show more

Keeping the focus

When you choose a place, you see the detailed information for one place only. This gives the focus and helps to understand the data better.

Impressing customers

Maps are not only useful but also impressive! By adding an interactive map to your website you add the value and have good chances to increase traction. Colors, navigation, and animations presented on the map make your website more alive, more interesting and beautiful.

Mapifator map builder to create maps from an Excel data

It’s easy to create a map from Excel data with Mapifator

Add data, setup design and embed it into your website with copy & paste only.

You can create a map for up to 10 places for free!

Tell your map story with Mapifator

Map story, places map, interactive map… It could have different names! But with Mapifator – our new map builder, you can create all of them. Geoapify offers you an opportunity to combine places, text, media with GIS maps, so it turns out into an interactive map story.

Share the created map story with your friends, customers or integrate it into your website or application.

Why a map story?

Almost all data has a location component. In other words, if data could be associated with one or several places, it can be shown on a map.

The map completes the data with visual representation, understanding about the size, position and distances. It allows visualizing the data in a more natural, attractive and engaging way. So the result could be interpreted as a picture, amination and interactive map.

For example, one of our demo maps “Top 25 innovative cities Outlook 2019” by A.T. Kearney, Inc. is based on data originally represented as a table:

Top 25 innovative cities Outlook 2019

But it shapes into attractive marketing, research, and demo tool when it’s represented as a map:

Show places and related information

A place in Mapifator is a combination of location and related information. With Mapifator you can define the place location with location input or on a map. Add interesting text about the place, attach pictures and videos. You can also create call actions with external links that appear as buttons.

Edit a place in a map story builder
Edit a place in Mapifator

Places in Mapifytor Map Story are ordered, so a user can navigate them with arrow buttons on map controls.

Choose the map and controls design

With Mapifator you can customize your Map Story to fit it into your Website or Application design. At the moment you can choose different map styles, define controls layout, and setup icons for places markers.

Map types in Map Story builder
Map types in the Map Story builder

Add amenities and geometries

Not only places can be defines in Mapifator. You can add amenities and geometries to your Map Story.

There could arise a question – What is the difference between amenities and places? Well, the concept is a bit different. Amenity is some location, which you would like to mention or highlight on a map. For example, it could be airports or train stations, and hotels near the place. They could have a name and sometimes buttons with external links.

The same as amenities, geometries are lines or polygons on a map, which could give some additional information for your users. In Mapifator you can add administrative or political boundaries, routes, and custom lines and polygons as geometries.

Add geometries in the Map Story builder
Add geometries in Mapifator

Both amenities and geometries could be independent and visible for any place or related to a place. Those will appear on a map only when the place is selected. Moreover, you can hide amenities on small zoom levels and make them appear on a map only from a defined zoom level.

Create a map story for free

We offer a Freemium model for Mapifytor maps. Create a map story for free and share it with your users, customers or colleagues. Our pricing depends on map views and usage. Extend the plan when you need it.

How to make the location search more relevant

Possibility of location search and showing the places on the map makes the map more valuable. For example, you could show restaurants or public transport stations on a map to improve the customer experience.

But it’s always a question what to show on the map and how to provide the most relevant information to your clients.

Ways to query points of interest

There are a few ways to query locations and show them on a map:

  • By bounding box. Allows showing all points of interest on the screen.
  • By radius map. This way you can visualize potentially reachable points of interest.
  • By travel time map. It’s a more accurate approach than by radius map. In other words, travel time maps help to filter locations accessible within desired time with chosen transportation mode. For instance, driving, walking or by public transport.

Geoapify offers location search by bounding box and by travel time maps. We support a list of amenity types which is constantly filled up by new types. Read more about Geoapify Places API.

Location search by a bounding box

Location search by bounding box
Points of interest by bounding box

When there is no starting point for the search, for example, home address or exhibition place, it’s required to show points of interest on the whole visible area. So you need to query data for some bounding box, usually equal to the viewport of the map. There are some implementation details:

  • Execute new query for each map move to load new locations.
  • Define a minimal zoom level for the location search feature. Showing all points of interest for a small zoom level, for instance for the whole city, country or continent, doesn’t make sense.
  • Places icons as marker pins help to make your map more informative. Read more about custom marker items.

Location search by a travel time map

Location search by travel time map
Points of interest by travel time map

Travel time maps or isochrones show area reachable within a given time from a location. For example, all areas within 20 minutes driving from your home or within 30 minutes by public transport from a conference location. The isochrones could be used as a filter for locations reachable within the desired time. So you can show the real situation on the map and display only relevant for your customer data. Moreover, there are some implementation benefits as well:

  • You perform a query only ones per location, transportation mode, and time value.
  • Amount of data doesn’t depend from map zoom level but from the size of the isochrone.

Places API from Geoapify

Geoapify offers quick and convenient location search for both methods: by boundary and by travel time map. Try our API in Playground without registration or register for free to integrate the solution into your application.

Travel time map: TOP 10 use cases for businesses and individuals

Travel time is one of the most important criteria when you choose a location. That’s why a travel time map or isochrone is often used as the main analytics tool to answer spatial questions. In this article, we would like to show you some scenarios of how travel time maps can help to make a location decision.

Travel time map use cases for businesses

While Location Intelligence becomes one of the key tools of Business Intelligence travel time maps become more and more popular in the business world. Here are a few examples of the isochrones application which could solve business tasks.

Operations on travel time maps
Union and intersection of travel time maps

Choose a new office location

Relocation is always a big step for a company. It’s important not only to satisfy the needs of the existing employees but also choose an attractive location for the new employees.

You can build reachability maps with desired time for each of your current employees and check if there is an intersection between them. Moreover, with isochrones, you can filter statistics and check how many potential workers are living in the bounded area of a new office.

Check coverage of your network

You can build isochrones for each of your selling points and check their union to see the coverage of your network. Different transportation modes, for example, “by public transport”, “driving”, or “walking”, help you to see if there are empty spots on your coverage map.

Choose the best place for a new retail shop

Not only vacant spots but also potentially profitable locations could be found with Location Intelligence tools and isochrones. For example, you can see if your target auditory can reach a new location easily. Moreover, you can filter properties by isoline and check exact numbers for the location.

Estimate a place reachability

It’s always good to rank locations by reachability. How good is the public transport connection for a place? How big reachability area by car? Better connectivity will always provide more potential and perspectives for a location. In short, travel time maps are designed to solve this task as well.

Study opportunities and potential of a location

When you have statistical data, for example, demographic data, you can bound the data by travel time maps and get statistics by isochrones. So you can study opportunities and potential clients, who can reach the location within the desired amount of time.

Travel time map use cases for individuals

Not only businesses but also individuals can benefit using isochrones. Thus if you provide the service on your website, the website becomes more valuable and attractive for your customers.

Transit isochrone
30 min isochrone for public transport

Optimize commute time by choosing the right place to live

It’s know fact, that fewer time people spend commuting, happier they are. Isochrones can help you to optimize commute time for each family member to their working or study place. If you build the travel time maps and then calculate the intersection of them, you can see locations reachable from each point of interests.

Optimize commute time by choosing the right place to work

Moreover, the inverse problem also could be solved with isochrones. If you plan to change your working place, the travel time map could show you all the possible areas where a new working place could be.

Study amenities you can reach

Would you like to see on the map only amenities you can reach within the desired time? Sure, it would be great! Filtering amenities by an isochrone provides you the answer.

Amenities filtered by the travel time map
All dentists within 30 min by public transport

Choose the best place to stay in a new city

When you plan a trip to a city you’ve never visited before it always a challenge to book accommodation in a good location. Often you need a good transport connection to multiple points of interest. For example, to the airport and conference place. Intersection on travel time maps of each of the locations will show you the perfect place for accommodation.

Book a hotel within desired travel time from seaside or ski resort

Isolines will also help you to book a hotel within walking or driving distance from seaside or ski resort. By calculating union of beach entries or ski lifts reachability maps, you can see on a map where hotels with an acceptable walking or drive time are.

Geoapify provides Isoline API to build travel time maps

Isolines API allows you to build travel time maps for different traveling modes and all over the world. Our APIs work via HTTP Get requests and return GeoJSON object as a result. Moreover, we provide Geometry API which calculates intersections and unions of isochrones. So you can quickly and with ease create your own Location Intelligence solution or extend an existing one. Register and start building isochrones for free.